Calvary Annual General Meeting: Sun March 6
This year's AGM will take place immediately after the (shortened) service on Sunday March 6th.
It will take place in person from the sanctuary and broadcasted to zoom CLICK HERE for MAIN ZOOM)
Please make time to join us in one of these ways if possible.
Note for families with kids
There will be a supervised movie available in the youth room.
Please contact Wendy if you have any questions or need assistance with technology or wish to request a paper copy set aside for you.
Links to Sections of the 2021 Annual Report
Click on the button below to download the .pdf of the annual report
Note: If printing on a colour printer, you may want to choose the ‘grayscale’ or black & white option to save on ink.
Message from the Minister
Then, you will overflow with confident hope…. Romans 15:13
In Song of Songs, the bridegroom calls out to his fiancé, the beloved. She’s shut up in her room and full of worry. But, when he appears, he begins to call her away from her worries; reminding her he is here. Then, he begins to point out all the reasons for her to delight and hope.
Look, the winter is past, and the rains are over and gone.
The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come,
and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air. The fig trees are forming young fruit,
and the fragrant grapevines are blossoming.
Rise up, my darling! Come away with me, my fair one!” Song of Songs 2:11-13
Like his beloved, God has been teaching us the very same thing. And, though the snowblowers are clearing away the latest wallup of snow as I write this, there are signs of life and hope and God at work all around us, calling us to rise up, look and hope. I think this annual report is the voice of our God who loves us, calling us to see the signs of hope and new life springing up all around us. Calling us to rise up and plan and dream and delight in the goodness of God. You’ll see the praying, the dreaming, the care giving, comforting and supporting that carried on; and you’ll hear of the groups that rose up and found ways to meet and connect, the word of God going forth in new ways and richer ways. Every report is overflowing with the call to rise up and rejoice.
I want to highlight just a few of the words that leap to mind for me as I read - headlines of the reasons to expect God to do even more.
Together (Heb 10:24-25 - Let us not give up meeting together but all the more…)
Who would have thought that two years of lockdowns would lead us to ongoing small groups? They meet to discuss Sundays’ service or study scripture and lean upon one another and help each other know Jesus more? I’m so grateful for the leadership of Andrew and Amanda, Brian and Angie, Cathy and Lorie, Steve Gayman, Terry Smith and Orville not to mention the staff. And I’m amazed at our people who have braved zoom and tech glitches and youtube and facebook commenting in order to connect and pray for one another. together.
Who would have expected evening worship and prayer two nights a week? A community of people drop in from our congregation and others across the nation to worship, encourage and hear God’s voice together? I’m so grateful for Dave, Jordan, Aidan, Rhonda for leading those with me. Such a reach bastion of hope in our week. together.
Our leadership planning teams rallied, whether online or in person, to lead us. Online has even allowed our staff to all meet and pray weekly - a rich sense of unity and support and God’s presence is tangible in these times. I’m so grateful for our staff. Such gifted leaders who love Jesus and have so much to offer us! And I’m so grateful for how this congregation loves and encourages their leaders. Calvary Camp and play days and prayer walks and outdoor worship and men’s gatherings and… together.
Who would have expected teams of caregivers being created or the overflow of speakers and leaders? Personally, I’m so grateful for all of the leaders and volunteers who stepped in to create space for me to have a rich and restful sabbatical. What a huge gift! Thank you to the board, the staff, to Orville and the rich host of lay speakers. What a huge sign of hope that God is giving so many of us messages to speak that declare God’s presence, goodness and plans for us!
Dream (…what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor. 2:9)
Look at the technology team that allows services to broadcast - even last year’s annual meeting happened during a lockdown. Seminars, groups, studies all happening because of amazing volunteers who figure out how to make technology work! That God gave us such gifted volunteers like Steve, Andrew, Dave, Trent, Matt and Dan are incredible. They created a platform for us to dream.
Dreams for staffing, and creating outreach in parks and downtown Kitchener, training for sharing Jesus with our neighbourhood and our world. And, even during lockdown, the dream of a new outdoor classroom and memory garden was planted.
Now, as hope rises of things opening up, of God moving, what dreams might spring up from what God has planted.
Hope (May God, the source of hope, fill you …. Romans 15:13)
A few years ago, many of our leaders and intercessors heard God saying he wants us, Calvary, to be a place overflowing with hope. That was an exciting word! What good things must God have in store for us? That was 2019. We just didn’t know then that becoming a place overflowing with hope requires us exercising those muscles of trusting God, leaning into God’s heart and direction, and leaning upon each other in richer, deeper ways.
And it is true! Now and over these last two years, we repeatedly return to the word of hope: God was good in our past, plans to be good in our future and we can look to see his goodness: the reason for hope in our present. It is not hard to see the signs of God building strength and hope in our leadership, our planning, our caring for one another.
If God is so at work, even in so much less than ideal circumstances, imagine what will overflow in seasons of plenty?
Friends, as you read, may God stir hope and dreams and gratitude for what he is doing at Calvary. May you be encouraged by what your gifts, your serving and your participation have allowed to spring up. May you be able to see in your family, your neighbourhood and your own heart the things God is stirring up and bringing to life. Most of all, may you hear the voice of your God call you beloved.
Look, the winter is past, and the rains are over and gone … Rise up, my beloved! Come away with me, my fair one!” Song of Songs 2:11-13
Submitted by Rev. Drew Maxwell
Weddings, Baptisms and Funerals
In Loving Memory of…
Walter Steven Bacso
Marian Marline Stephens
Official Board Report
Have you ever attended a meeting and not had a good experience? Perhaps there was a competitive spirit, perhaps there was condemnation, perhaps you missed a deadline or perhaps you had to do a presentation that you were uncomfortable with. When your Calvary board meets, there is a spirit of cooperation, uplifting, honour and grace! We spend time sharing God’s goodness and listening and praying for where God wants to take Calvary. We then read and ponder declarations for that path. All before we consider the business aspects of the meeting.
Do you know what the board is responsible for? The board’s role is to
Steward the callings and anointings of Calvary
Develop the mission and vision for Calvary in collaboration with the staff
Ensure Calvary has operations in place to fulfill its mission and vision, and step into its anointings and callings
The board met for an onsite retreat in October. There was a real sense of community and team building. It was a great time of listening to what God has for each of us as well as for Calvary. One of the favourite pieces was a time of “silent discussion” where we pondered the questions “What do we see God doing in this season in our leadership team?” and “Who does God say we are as a leadership team?”. We all wrote answers on a big sheet of paper, building upon each other’s, allowing each voice to be heard. A summary of what we heard:
We are starting from a place of being loved, enough, ready, strong
Voices & ideas valuable - our giftings are varied & needed
Lead out of God’s leadership. He has created the new paths, wineskins & regrowth
We as leadership get to boldly sow new territory and help our community step into new territory, a new stage, a new maturity
We want to thank everyone that stepped up while Drew was on sabbatical - the staff that took on more and made sure everything was covered, those that spoke on Sunday mornings, those that made sure pastoral care still happened, Orville for preaching and being the supervising minister, and everyone else that contributed. It was so great to see the staff honoured by the congregation in the parking lot at the board retreat – with honking, cheering, signs and cupcakes!
The board continues to appreciate the support of Rhonda and Angie in understanding pandemic protocols and putting appropriate measures in place to keep Calvary safe and accessible. Thank you!
Please continue to reach out to your board with questions and suggestions about Calvary itself, our mission, vision, direction or operations. We value connecting with you.
Janine Armstrong, Bill Dunbar, Steve Gayman, Jean Healy-Martin, Jane Herlick, Cathy Linseman, Debbie Martin, Drew Maxwell, Lorie Silverthorne, Terry Smith, Geoff Williams, Amanda Wood-Atkinson
Submitted by Lorie Silverthorne
on behalf of Calvary’s 2021 Board
Worship Leader and Worship Planning Team Report
“But I trust in your unfailing love.
I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
I will sing to the Lord
because he is good to me.”
Psalm 13: 5-6
Thriving. Hope. The God We Know. The Church We See. 2021 was a year of holding fast to the promises over Calvary and seeing God move again in power, this time in the midst of a year of turbulence and change in our world. Our Sunday worship matured into a hybrid online and in-person model for most of 2021, and we saw previous investments in time, talent and treasure come to fruition as we again pursued all that God holds for us as a church family.
Drew kept leading us, supported by a growing number of voices from within and beyond our church family. Our media team continued to evolve and grow, adding new team members, shifting to satellite internet, and continuing to evolve new formats for our Sunday worship. Our worship teams continued to faithfully lead us in singing and worship to the glory of God. And our More weeknights and Encounter monthly worship continued to provide additional opportunities to connect with God and each other in deeper ways.
For many of us, 2021 was a long haul. Our worship planning team and staff kept us focused on the truth of who Jesus is and the promises of the Kingdom - releasing hope, joy and love. We spent a good part of 2021 focused on how we are created to not just survive but Thrive. We learned how God defines who we are, not our circumstances. And we not only held to hope, but learned to run to where God is moving and join in the incredible work of the Kingdom far beyond our church walls.
What a joy to get to worship and celebrate God together in so many different ways! We praise God for those who reaffirmed their baptism vows this year and for all our yes’s to Jesus! Calvary family, thank you for continuing to meet together, to worship together, to be the body of Christ together.
To our Welcoming/hospitality team - Brian, Angie, Wendy, Cathy, Bill, Cindy, Jean, Quentin, George, Kathryn, Deb, Jeff, Anita, Terry, Wayne and Sheila - for helping us navigate staying connected in-person and pursuing our pandemic safeguards with excellence.
To our Hosts - Amanda, Janine, Cathy, Terry, Angie, Sharon, and Christine - for welcoming us into the service, setting the tone by sharing God’s heart with us, and keeping us up to date on what’s happening in our church family.
To our Teachers, Speakers and Preachers - thank you for moving us forward and keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus. Thank you especially to Rev. Orville James and the many other speakers that stepped up over the summer months, supporting Drew in his sabbatical.
To our Sharers - thank you for crossing the “awesome line” and boldly sharing from your heart - the treasures that you shared were rich and such a valuable view into what God is doing!
To our Media/Tech team - Steve, Matt, Trent, Andrew, Dan and Tucker - you kept audio and visuals clear and joined the creative with the word of God as it went out - reaching ears, eyes and hearts both in-person and online.
To our Worship leaders - Joel, Ken, Darlene, Marilyn, Troy, Drew, Rhonda, Jane, Cathy, Jordan, Aidan, Gavin, Dan and Dave - thank you for leading us in song, pointing us to Jesus, and drawing our hearts into worship.
To our Sunday “Producers” Rhonda and Kelly - who kept our Sunday mornings organized and flowing with all the right steps for our hybrid worship and kept us on track - leading and troubleshooting every circumstance with grace and peace.
To our Prayer Team - Lorie, Debbie, Jane, Gerry, Angie, Cathy, Sharon, Grace, Katheryn, Amy G, Amy M - thank you for stepping up online and in-person to bless and pray for our church family, in response to how the Spirit moves during worship - this is such a growing and vital part of our worship!
Finally to our worship planning team - thank you for continuing to press in to what God has for our church family, and how you carry Jesus’ heart in your passion and creativity for seeing the fullness of God released in our worship.
Thank you God for a year of not just meeting, not just worshiping, but of thriving and pursuing what you have for all of us, as individuals and as a church family. Thank you for your faithfulness and goodness.
The 2021 Worship Planning team consisted of: Rhonda Elgersma, Kelly Beitz, Drew Maxwell, Amy Gayman, Jane Herlick, Cathy Linseman, Amy McDougall, Ian McHardy, and Dave Small.
I would like to add, on a personal note - it continues to be a joy and delight to see from behind the piano and online how God continues to move in power in our worship together. God is taking us from confidence to boldness in our worship, from receiving to imparting, and from peace and hope to joy, and most of all from glory to glory.
Thank you Calvary church family for your worship and prayers of your hearts and for your encouragement of each other, whether online in a weeknight More session, or taking in Sunday worship from your living room, office or in-person. God is with us, and we have not given up meeting together (Heb 10). I am convinced that regardless of what troubles we find in our circumstances, God is providing his presence and glory that far outweighs them all (2 Cor 4), and He is training our hearts and minds for mighty and glorious Kingdom work, now and yet to come.
Submitted with blessings and thanks and praise,
Dave Small, Director, Music Ministry
Family, Children & Youth Ministries
Lighthouse Family and Children's Ministry
Discover creative ways to encourage others and to motivate them toward acts of compassion, doing beautiful works as expressions of love. This is not the time to pull away and neglect meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing. In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate that day dawning. -Hebrews 10:24-25 TPT
This scripture came to mind as I sat to write this report - specifically the part about “find creative ways to encourage and motivate others”. As I read these verses in their entirety I couldn’t help but think 2020 was a practical picture of this scripture. In a time when it has been unnatural and at times unsafe to meet together and when it has been difficult to physically connect, we have pressed into choosing community and finding creative solutions that have resulted in some beautiful acts of compassion and expressions of love. Looking back on our 2020 Family and Children’s Ministry highlights, I pause and choose to believe again that God is good. God is at work. God has been busy drawing us closer to him. God is bringing us closer as a body, his church and he is working to make himself known - His love, His peace, His joy, His hope. I pray that as you read through these highlights, as you look back and remember - that you can also see a God who is continually at work in all things for the good of those who love him.
Jan to June - We launched our Lighthouse Video Ministry. With the help of Olivia Martin and Amy Gayman, there was a 5-10 min video posted each week for kids and families of all ages to watch and participate in. The focus from Jan - March was our God gives us the “Courage to_____.” and then from April - June the focus shifted to our God gives us the “Freedom to ___.” which aligned with the whole church pressing into the word “Thrive”.
All these videos continue to be accessible and continue to be great truths. You can access them all on the Calvary United Church St Jacobs YouTube Channel in a playlist entitled “Children and Family Videos”.
In the making of these videos, we worked hard at connecting truth while also personally connecting with our kids and families and featuring them in our videos as a way to continue to foster relationships and community.
A “Drop In” lesson structure was launched in person in the gym on Sunday mornings. Kids and families could come and get pieces of a lesson to take back into the big church and do together as a form of worship together. The drop in lesson always related to the Lighthouse “video of the week”.
Worship stations continued to be made available to kids and families on Sunday mornings along with worship bags to help kids engage more fully in the service with their families.
July to Aug - We transitioned to separate in-person ministry time for children on Sunday mornings. The summer was spent in our new outdoor ministry area “traveling the world”. Kids earned stamps for each country they visited. The focus was on connection and seeking to see and know God in the world around us.
Sept to Dec - Our Lighthouse rooms were opened once again with leaders, mentors and kids meeting together in small groups including:
JK/SK - Love Lights
Gr 1-3 - Miracle Workers
Gr 4-5 - Kingdom Builders
Gr 6-8 - Jr. Youth
These times have focused on community, simple truths and time with God in a safe and fun way. It has been such a treat to see the kids and families out who have chosen to re-engage in in-person ministry times.
Other Children and Family Ministry Structures and Opportunities
January featured an online Calvary Family Trivia night where we encouraged all ages to engage in some good old fashioned trivia fun.
Good Friday Outdoor Interactive Worship where our youth helped to create spaces for individuals and families of all ages and stages to engage in the goodness and hope of Easter.
A special Easter Video featuring “Cooking with Kelly at Calvary” where supplies were made available to make “Empty Tomb Rolls”
Calvary @ Camp - The August long weekend once again allowed Calvary folks to head up to Silver Lake Camp for a weekend of Calvary family fun. We had just over 30 people choose to come and spend what turned out to be a very rainy but fun and memorable weekend together. Despite the weather and the covid restrictions we found ways to experience the elements that make up what we love to call “camp”. Each day we were able to come together around some all-camp fun, some Jesus focused teaching and use the spaces and engage in the activities that Silver Lake has to offer. This simple structure of combined group activities, lots of outdoor time as well as more space to break off into smaller groups was a huge success and will likely have elements that find their way into the next time we plan to go to camp! We are thankful for Silver Lake, the site and the blessing that the Camp Committee gave Calvary to use the space this summer. We also extend a huge thanks to Loralee and the Stickney family for once again planning and preparing our meals - especially in this season of covid that added many more elements to consider and plan around. We appreciate and value what you bring to this ministry!
Thank you to all of our Lighthouse volunteers - leaders and mentors - who have helped make all these events and as well as Sunday morning ministry times happen! A huge thanks to Amy Gayman and Olivia Martin who have continued to step into additional leadership involving long term planning, curriculum writing and HOURS of video making! Thanks to the whole team for your time, energy, love for your God and love of our kids & families!
God is good and works for good in all things for those who love him (Romans 8:28). I believe this as a foundational truth. When we choose Him and we choose to place ourselves in a community who is also choosing him, we set ourselves in a space of continually hearing truth which leads to joy, peace, purpose and hope. This past year has not been easy but it has been good. God is at work and continues to work at bringing us together as his people. Thank you for the ways you have engaged in learning and growing together as families. Thank you for the ways you have supported this ministry with your words of encouragement and prayers. And thank you God for all the ways you have moved and will continue to move in our kids, our parents and our families!
Submitted by Kelly Beitz
Director of Family and Children’s Ministries
The youth in grades 6, 7, 8 (‘jr youth’) are such an important part of our church family! We have loved seeing this group of youth grow as a community, as followers of Jesus, and as leaders! On Sundays they engage in our Lighthouse Ministry with a special format designed to pour into them as growing followers of Jesus and leaders. Each week they engage as a small group together in the youth room or they step into serving roles throughout the church. From connecting with kids in Lighthouse, to changing the sign at the road, to helping in the tech booth (and much more!), we love watching the Jr.Youth serve and shine!
Once a month we continued to gather to grow as a community and have some fun together! We were able to make a number of great memories together including playing games together at the church, mini golf, tobogganing and online fun.
While some of these regular rhythms were interrupted this year, we have been so impressed with the resilience of our Jr. Youth! They were great at rolling with the various pivots we had to take and they did a great job of growing as a community together!
Rhonda Elgersma (Director of Youth Ministries)
Kelly Beitz (Director of Family and Children’s Ministries)
We call our regular Sr. youth gatherings “HOME”. We call ourselves HOME with the goal that our community would be a space that felt like a family. A place of belonging; a place where you are known. Well, this year our HOME once again went through a few renovations! But those elements of connection and belonging continued regardless of the platform and circumstances around us!
HOME’s vision continues to seek to be a safe passageway for youth to meet with and encounter the love and transforming freedom of Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit through community, memorable experiences, worship, growing, and serving.
We continued to try new ways to make the online platforms work! We ended up finding some great tricks and tools and had some rich times of fun and ministry online together. From online worship stations to encouragement boards to hilarious games, we will have some good memories of our meeting together online.
All that to say we were so excited when we were able to start meeting together in person again! Because of our size and space available, we could safely meet and enjoy time together! This was so needed and valuable! We so loved being back up in the youth room, playing and worshipping together in the ‘living room’. Even with masks and distancing, it was simply good to be able to pursue God together again and be together in the same space!
This year's crew has been small but faithful - to each other, to the community & church, and to their journey with God. I can’t imagine navigating this year with a group as willing and gentle as this crew of sr.youth. They were so gracious as we navigated pivots and protocols and had to try out new things and strategies together (a few times!). They carry such joy and enthusiasm!
Some special highlights this year included:
Creating a virtual youth room and utilizing ‘gathertown’ (an online platform) to run youth group in a way that felt more organic and natural.
The Chosen - we enjoyed watching and discussing Season 1 of The Chosen throughout the year.
Outdoor adventures including tobogganing in the church parking lot, a beach day, campfires, and outdoor movie nights.
Donut Deliveries - to encourage our youth to “do-nut be discouraged”
Online student led bible study
Returning back to in person meetings after a time away online, we loved getting to reconnect back together in our youth room space.
Innovation of finding silly and socially distanced games and ways to have fun together!
Leadership Development Camp - five of our sr youth were able to participate in the LDC summer program and what a joy it was to see them shine and how that strengthens our youth ministry as a bonus fruit!
Outreach opportunities in the church (baking cookies, making a meal) and outside the walls (serving at St.Jacobs Halloween event)
We were blessed to have Jordan Vogt serve as a student leader and co-op student earlier in the year! Jordan jumped into a few different areas in church ministry - outreach, worship, and youth! She helped run a 3 week small group in March called “Jesus is…” and helped with the leadership of weekly youth group. Thanks Jordan!
A special thank you to our awesome volunteer team (Jamie Connelly, Kaylie Wolfe, Simon MccKenzie, & Emily Cowley) along with the partnership & support of Kelly Beitz and other members in our church family. And an extra thank you to our youth for being so resilient and hanging with us this year. I am so proud of you. I know it was difficult sometimes when you got tired of all the screens; or when we returned to in-person but maybe not all of us were able to join – it’s been challenging. But I am so impressed in how you have pressed through – in your own ways. Thank you for the ways you made space in your life and home for your HOME crew and Jesus community!
God has amazing things in store for all our amazing youth
and we celebrate them!
Submitted by Rhonda Elgersma
Director of Youth Ministries
We are so grateful for the ways we saw community, connection, and family remain strong and valued this year! While the concept of community was once again challenged, we continue to hold true to the scripture in Hebrews 10…
“Let us discover creative ways to encourage others and to motivate them toward acts of compassion, doing beautiful works as expressions of love. This is not the time to pull away and neglect meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing. In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward… “ (TPT)
This year of 2021 allowed for both online and some return to in person groups and gatherings. While we highlight some of the formal small groups below, we know there were many other community connections happening – from 2by2 friendships (prayer partners), to regular phone calls, to bible study gatherings. We know we are called to walk together and so we celebrate all the ways that happened this year!
Women’s Group – Three sessions/studies took place over this year. While gathering online may have felt like an obstacle at first, these Monday nights have been so full and rich! Each session engaged 15-25 women! Using different teachers and study resources, the women would spend time sharing goodness, watching a video study, and in breakout groups for discussion & prayer. The studies included: Becoming Myself by Stasi Eldrege, The Belonging Project by Amberly Neese, and The Church of Small Things by Melanie Shankle. Thank you to Lorie Silverthorne & Cathy Linseman for their leadership and shepherding of this beautiful ministry!
Men’s Group - This year brought new life and growth for our men’s ministry at Calvary! In the winter/spring, on Tuesday nights a group of men would gather (online) to connect and grow in their faith. They used a video study by Andy Stanley called 90. A Journey through the life of Jesus.
In addition to this online study, the men were able to organize 3 outdoor gatherings to foster community and fellowship together! Thank you to the leadership of Steve Gayman, Brian Tuffnail, Orville James, and Drew Maxwell!
Digging Deeper Group – This group ran twice (for 6-8 weeks each) this year to provide an opportunity for people to explore their faith and connect together. Using Sunday sermons as the launching point, these groups fostered great growth and community! Thank you to Andrew & Amanda Atkinson for their leadership in this group and their hearts for community opportunities!
Running After Group – One of the words over our church is that it is a place that ‘raises up big people’. We each have powerful giftings, purposes, and callings on our life and God wants us to step into them. This group gathers for 3 sessions (and follow up meetings) to help people build up their confidence in their IDENTITY and DESTINY through simple tools, reflections, and encouragement. We are excited for these opportunities to help people run after who and what God has called them to! Thanks to Janine Armstrong and Amanda Atkinson for helping me lead two groups through this journey this year!
The Chosen Study – The Chosen is a powerful TV show/series about the life of Jesus. Through online watch parties, a group gathered to watch and then discuss an episode of season 2 for 8 weeks. Whether you’ve known the Bible stories your entire life or were just learning, The Chosen provides fresh and thought provoking perspectives on the life of Jesus and the people around Him. A big thank you to Terry Smith for his leadership, passion, and coordination of all the elements of this group! (and for setting us up to get to enjoy the Chosen Christmas Special together too!)
Elements - This 3 session group was designed as a great introduction for those new to Calvary, new to faith, or wanting to connect in more with the Calvary leadership and community. Each week we highlighted core cultures and elements of the heartbeat of the church! A great way to engage and step into more!
Leading & Living Healthily - Over 3 weeks, the group dove into some important kingdom principles around healthy relationships. Using Danny Silk's "Keep your Love on" we explored topics of connection, communication, and boundaries.
Alpha - Alpha is a world renown course which seeks to introduce the basics of the Christian faith through a series of talks, videos, and discussions. For 8 evenings this fall, 12-15 folks gathered at the church to learn and share together. Whether these were reminders of foundational truths or digging deeper for the first time, it provided a space for genuine discussions and connections (and laughter!).
Some other gatherings this year included: a mental health webinar led by ministry partner and professional Ann-Marie Covert from MyMindJoy; and some family events including an online trivia time, and outdoor interactive worship times.
Submitted by Rhonda Elgersma
GO! Is the word we have chosen to describe the activities, ministries and missions of our church that are outside the walls of Calvary’s church building. We are called to be a “Light on a hill” and the “Salt of the earth” and we know we do this by following Jesus ourselves and reflecting his hope, joy, peace and love in our everyday lives and in intentional connections with others in our community and in our world.
We continue to be thankful for our partnerships with various organizations and their efforts to bring the hope, justice and love of Jesus to those in need around us. Partnerships range from financial support, prayer support and/or volunteer support. Some of these partnerships include Refugee Sponsorship, Kenyan Kids, Woolwich Community Services, Ray of Hope, Disciple A City, Mennonite Central Committee, World Renew, United Church of Canada Camping Ministries and the Pregnancy Centre. In addition Calvary supports the United Church’s Mission and Outreach ministries which meet local and global needs.
Below is a glance back on some of Calvary’s 2021 Go! initiatives.
Light in the Park
September of this year launched a new initiative we called “Light in the Park”. The idea was to take some simple truths about God and the simple structure of a “Drop in” style lesson and head out to a local park to meet families. So for 2 hours on Saturday afternoons a small team set-up in Riverside Park with a simple game, a simple lesson and a take home craft and shared the good news of Jesus with families through healthy relationships and fun. The four simple truths we chose to focus on were 1- God is good, 2- You are loved, 3- Jesus is the way, and 4- Nothing is impossible for God. This structure for building relationships and sharing the gospel was widely successful and many connections were made with both local families and families visiting the area. We had the opportunity to have fun, build relationships, pray with parents and tell kids about Jesus. Calvary United Church received a grant from the United Possibilities Fund for the 2022 year to extend this ministry. We are looking forward to the warm weather to see how we can equip more leaders and take this ministry to other parks in our community.
Worship in the Park - Prayer in the Village - Prayer for the Nations
Worship and prayer in the village was something we felt God continuing to highlight and delight in this past year. Thursday evenings became an evening of outward focus. The warm spring and summer months allowed us to meet together in person outside and worship and pray together.
Worship in the Park: Once the weather turned warm, worship resumed in the local Riverside Park throughout the spring and summer of 2021. Two evenings a month we would meet to simply praise God outside of our building - in the community we are called to be in.
Prayer in the Village: One evening a month we would walk the village and pray for what God highlighted: businesses, schools, residents etc. The heart of this time together was to catch a glimpse of God’s heart for the people, residents and businesses of the village. We have had beautiful conversations with business owners and residents and nights of walking and silent prayers. We know God has so much in store for our village and look forward to continuing to learn how to pray for his Kingdom to come in St Jacobs.
Prayer for the Nations: Calvary continued to step into this ministry this year under the leadership of Jordan Vogt. Once a month a small group came together to worship, listen for the heart of God for our world and pray and intercede for his will to be done and his kingdom to come all over the earth.
DTK - Downtown Kitchener Ministry
Calvary has continued to serve the marginalized people in Kitchener every other Tuesday night from 8-9pm. While the team offers a bite to eat, a warm beverage, and a few essential items, the real heart is to build relationships, demonstrate the love of God and offer the hope of Jesus to whoever stops by.
Our team typically consists of 4 people to serve food and hand out hygiene and personal items and 3 people to walk the streets with hot chocolate and a willingness to connect with people wherever they are - offering a warm drink, prayer and encouragement. We have heard many testimonies of our team being blessed and filled by their own experience as much as they feel they might be blessing others. DTK is also thankful for the kindness of The Museum as well as the Kitchener Farmers Market for the use of their locations throughout the 2021 year as Kitchener City Hall continues to be under construction.
A crucial part of this ministry is the ongoing support of you - our Calvary church. We need both team members and the donations of practical resources that support and sustain this ministry. Please connect with Kelly Beitz to get more information, to get connected with this ministry opportunity or support it with a donation.
Some ongoing donation requests include:
• mens sized hats & gloves • scarves • razors • toothbrush • travel-sized (hotel sized) hygiene items including • shampoo • shower gel • soap • toothpaste • deodorant • hot chocolate • peanut free granola bars • chicken weiners
Ray of Hope
Once again the Calvary prep team for Ray of Hope soldered on during 2021, with the financial support of this church family, to add support and meals on three occasions. Every time we serve, the protocols change but now we know that this can easily happen and we “go with the flow”. We have found that with all the changes and protocols it has become easier to collect monetary donations instead of actual food items, and then we purchase the items needed. We are always amazed and delighted when the grocery bill and the donations are within a few dollars of each other. Our good good God is a generous provider and you, our church family are His vehicle!
We have committed to three meals again in 2022. We have been so grateful for the support from the Calvary family. This team truly enjoys the preparing and working together to serve the Ray of Hope community.
The team: Barb King, Marg Scheid, Wendy Krieck, Jean Martin, Lorie Silverthorne, Brenda Tithecott and Cathy Linseman
United Church Camping Ministries
A few of the summer camps that Calvary partners with opened in some capacity this past summer. We were thrilled to encourage families to camp overnight at Ryerson and enjoy daypasses at Silver Lake. In addition, Leadership Development Camp -LDC (co-directed by Rhonda Elgersma) was able to operate as a full camp this past summer and Calvary financially supported a few of our youth who were then able to participate in this 2 week travelling camp. Calvary had the honour of providing a place for this group of young leaders to land for a few days, to continue in their faith and leadership development and where they designed and ran an online youth service. In addition to providing a great space for this sized camp, Calvary also came together to provide the food for their stay at Calvary. This very tangible gift of shelter and food was such a valuable blessing to LDC this summer as their stay at camps had to look different.
The lack of regular camping ministries over the past 2 summers has had a negative impact on the physical sites of our camps. This past spring we had a crew head to Silver Lake to tear out some old tent bases on the Wilderness Site and prepare for new bases to be built. Our hope is that our church will continue with this project in the spring of 2022. We also saw many of our congregation spend time this summer at Silver Lake helping with various projects that would normally have been a part of the Work Bee in the spring. A huge thank you to all of you who helped keep the site at Silver Lake looking good and ready to function next summer.
In the fall of 2021, Calvary was approached by Silver Lake to consider formally partnering with their ministry by committing to a more consistent financial contribution. These contributions would assist with the ongoing needs of operating a camp ministry but would also support the build of a much needed dining hall. Silver Lake has recently launched a fundraising campaign for the dining hall and is looking to build in the next few years. Calvary is continuing to consider ways to bless, encourage and strengthen this camp ministry that so many of our own youth and families enjoy.
Submitted by Kelly Beitz
Director of Outreach
EQUIP: Youth and Young Adult Leadership Development Program
“EQUIP” is the ministry that Calvary helped seed when Rhonda joined staff a few years back. Through the support of Calvary, United Church grants (this year we received $20,000), and other networks; EQUIP continues to be a unique and valuable ministry platform. Especially in this time, it became clearly evident that young people were eager, hungry, even desperate for opportunities to be in community. While it was difficult to navigate all the changes, we celebrate the victories we did see and accomplish through EQUIP Ministry.
We were able to train and equip 20 young people through the EQUIP program/groups. These young people ranged in ages 17-25. Our heart is to empower young people with tools and confidence in their influence as young Christian leaders in their spheres of influence and that still happened despite some of the programs looking different.
We ran Mentorship Programs and Running After Groups. We also were able to run a fall personal spiritual retreat day and help facilitate a student-led online bible study. We were unable to complete formal camp staff training events but did still have the opportunity to provide support camp staff and directors (especially in the challenging summer once again) through regular check in & prayer meetings and informal training and mentorship.
The continual investment in these communities and demographics will have lasting impact on the spaces and ministries they are a part of. It is important to continue to pour into our young adult spaces and summer camps to train, raise up, and help them find their voice and spiritual giftings. We trust those who participated in the opportunities this year have a few more tools in their belt to equip them to live and serve and lead as Christians.
Through the partnership with Calvary, we are able to strengthen the bridge we have for young people outside our immediate community. Many young adults love to attend Calvary led worship services, Encounter, online webinars, and small groups. It is wonderful to see how many young people would call Calvary a ‘home away from home’ church! Grateful for our extended community of young people and they way we have been able to invest in them!
Submitted by Rhonda Elgersma
Director of Youth and Youth Adult Leadership Development
Calvary continues to financially and spiritually support a young missionary couple (names withheld for safety reasons) from our region that are serving in the middle east. As leadership we had the privilege of meeting with this couple in person to share testimonies and pray with them in the spring of 2021. They were also able to come and share on a Sunday morning and bless us with their wisdom and passion for the importance of sharing Jesus with the world whether we live in the Middle East or Ontario, Canada. In spite of ongoing challenges due to covid this year, the couple has been able to secure housing, receive residency status, pursue Arabic lessons, form relationships in their community and mentor new believers. Please feel free to contact the church office to receive more information on this couple or request a prayer card to assist in praying for and supporting this couple!
Refugee Settlement Committee
(Jean-Healey Martin, Lorie Silverthorne, Highview Community Church, Central Church)
We were excited to welcome Ahmad, Douaa, and their 4 children to Canada in April 2021. Unfortunately, it was during a pandemic lock down which presented some new difficulties in settling them! What a blessing to see them reunited with family – Alia hadn’t ever met her grandchildren and she had been apart from her daughter for almost 10 years. Living in Canada has provided Ahmad & Douaa’s family with appropriate housing, health & dental care as well as education. They are thriving.
Our efforts to bring the rest of Aphrodite’s family to Canada continued as well. Living as a refugee in Lebanon is challenging and even more so during the pandemic. It was a delight to welcome Aphrodite to speak at Calvary again – hearing about the fun of living with her sister Venus who moved here from Alberta when she finished her studies. We hosted a virtual coffeehouse in March and another auction in November. These events raised about $8,000 and also helped build a sense of community within and between our churches. We are so thankful for your support of these events and your direct donations! After months of paperwork, we were able to submit the application for this family in October. And so, the waiting begins.
I love how each person’s giftings on the committee have melded together to make the sponsorship and settlement of our newcomers successful – paperwork, word crafting, Arabic, cultural understanding, creativity, educator knowledge, leadership, technical aptitude, relationship building, medical background, and finances. The same God distributes different kinds of miracles that accomplish different results through each believer’s gift and ministry as He energizes and activates them. 1 Corinthians 12:6 (TPT)
Submitted by Lorie Silverthorne
Refugee Settlement Committee chair
As Mary Jane and I talked together about this past year and what we would like to say in this report, the word “unusual” was one word we landed on. But as we reflected on the change from physical visiting to outreach by phone or email, we agreed that this has indeed been a rich time of connecting with our more vulnerable population. We have been greatly encouraged and blessed by our seniors in this time – their resilience, their making the best of this time, and the incredible support that we have seen within their families. This is definitely God’s goodness and provision and protection over them in a time when we are apart. And we celebrate that!
Our gratitude goes to our team – Barb Detweiler-Bowman, Sheila Donald, Sharon McKay, Dorothy McMillan, and Cathy Morris. Thank you for the ways that you have stayed in touch with our church family, checking in, notes, cards. So appreciated.
We are continually blessed and encouraged as Sharon sends out prayer requests from within our church family, but also requests that come from our community. Sharon often adds a scripture or words of comfort and hope which are so appreciated. We have had words spoken over Calvary that we are a house of prayer – this has never been more evident in these past few months as the prayer chain has been “lit up” with requests and also praise and thanksgiving.
Shannon Robinson graciously stepped into the Meals Ministry coordinating role this fall as Amy McDougall recovers from surgery and treatment. She has and is doing a fabulous job and we extend our heartfelt thanks to her. Our Youth prepared some meals and baking this fall for the meals ministry and that is such a gift to the church family to have those meals ready and on hand for immediate needs that arise. Asking for help is difficult – for all of us – and yes, humbling – but we are here to lighten your load and serve our community in this tangible way. None of us are exempt from seasons where we just need a “hand up”.
A new initiative that is being explored is a Care Team to walk alongside church family individuals who need some extra support for a season – whether that is long or short term. We are still exploring the structure but we have started with Mary Jane Schenkel, Brian Tuffnail, Grace Van Bruwaene, Anita Pugh and Cathy Linseman. Pastor Drew is the overseer. We have had a couple of training sessions with Amanda Wood Atkinson and Kelly Beitz, both with social work background but with a definite focus of working hand in hand with God and the leading of the Holy Spirit. This is not a counselling initiative – none of us are trained in that area! But we all bring different skill sets to the table and we recognize that sometimes a listening and compassionate ear, resources to offer in the community, love, prayer and encouragement are what people need to feel heard and seen and cared for. We are still in the developing stages and dipping our toe in the water so to speak so stay tuned for a more in depth communication in the future.
“Three things will last forever – faith, hope and love – and the greatest of these is love.” 1Cor 13:13 NLT
Submitted with gratitude,
Mary Jane Schenkel, Cathy Linseman, Rev. Drew Maxwell
For many years now, Calvary has pursued one of God’s callings for the church: to be a house of prayer. We celebrate the various opportunities for people to both receive prayer and also give the gift of prayer. We know our prayers are powerful and effective and love seeing how God has used our various prayer ministry teams and tools to provide vision, direction, healing, unity, encouragement, and comfort.
We’re so grateful for those who set aside time to listen and to pray for God’s will to be done on earth as in heaven.
Thursday and Friday morning prayer times continued online or in person as possible. Through many rich prayer times, both groups grew in interceding for our church family and for God’s heart for our town, our region and the world.
Sunday morning prayer ministry continues to be an important part of our worship times. We know the opportunity to receive a blessing, impartation, or simply have our petitions and praises released alongside someone else is powerful and important as a body. Thank you to our extensive prayer ministry team and a special shout out to Lorie Silverthorne for administering this team so that each Sunday prayer can be offered in person and online!
MORE worship & prayer on Facebook twice a week provides a space for not only music and worship but also for people to share petitions, words of encouragement, prophetic declarations, and scriptures to the others joining! It has been beautiful see people minister to one another in prayer in that space!
This past year has been a wonderful opportunity to support each other with prayers in times of celebrations and times of concern. Thank you for faithfully holding these requests in prayer and conversation with God. Writing this report reminds me that our prayer times with God are not just words or an act, it is an attitude and posture that we need to maintain. The knowing that we can release the concerns into our loving Heavenly Father God’s care and response. Those times are especially important when in times of crisis we can’t find words or heart to place our own needs before God.....in a clear honest message.
Drew has shared how the prayer chain team supports him in his daily pastoral care work… “As people share their needs and concerns with us, one of the wonderful gifts of our prayer chain, is that we can almost immediately encourage people: “You are not alone! There is a whole group of people willing to stand with you as you walk through this. Would you be willing for us to send out a request to the prayer chain to pray?” Sometimes people prefer to be anonymous. Sometimes they share just a few details. But so many times, they gratefully say yes. And so many times we hear later how much they felt supported by us and by God. The prayer chain is such a wonderful gift to offer our congregation and community.”
Crystal Schnarr is new to our prayer chain group and has shared the following.......
"So, I am really glad to be part of the body of Christ that steps in when people just can’t connect because of all the fog. We are warriors in the army for Christ and I feel this is something important I’ve been gifted with. To seek Him for others when they can’t hear, or just need an army behind them. I feel blessed to be there for others when they need a brother or sister to support them!”
As always we honour God and each other with our prayers for one another.
Ephesians 3:20-21 The Passion Translation: “Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you. Now we offer up to God all the glorious praise that rises from every church in every generation through Jesus Christ—and all that will yet be manifest through time and eternity. Amen!"
If you would like to join our loyal team to receive email prayer requests as they come to us please contact Wendy at the office info@calvaryunited .com or myself at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we continue to stand amazed by our loving amazing God.
Submitted by Sharon McKay
Prayer Chain Co-ordinator
“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy…” (Psalm 103:2-4)
“The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” John 10:3
The Greek word ‘sozo’ means to save, deliver, make whole or restore, heal, be whole. To describe SOZO in just a few words, we could say that it is a ministry of healing, freedom and restoration. The team of prayers listen to God’s prompting as to how to pray and uses tools that the attendee then can use themselves to listen to God’s voice. We have seen the power of forgiveness and the joy of freedom. Hearing the shepherd’s voice will lead you out of whatever has penned you in. Sessions can be booked through email@example.com.
We were able to facilitate a few sozos this year, primarily online. We are grateful the power and love of Holy Spirit can move over zoom!
Thanks to our sozo team: Drew, Ian, Dave, Phil, Donna, Sharon,
Karen, & Rhonda
Submitted by Rhonda Elgersma
Calvary's library was able to stay open throughout 2021, for which we're grateful, and we continued to see books and DVDs being signed out regularly. For those of us who connect with God through story it's a gift to be able to access the thoughts and stories that have been recorded by Christian authors.
If there's a book or DVD you would like to borrow that isn't in Calvary's collection yet, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and the library committee will do our best to get it for you. Our collection can become more diverse and complete as more people share their requests so please don't be shy.
Thank you to everyone who donated materials to Calvary's library collection last year. We appreciate your generosity.
Submitted by Donna McHardy
Wow, I can’t believe it has been a year since we attended the virtual AGM. At that meeting it was voted to construct a search committee and start the process of looking for a second pastor. A job description was developed and was approved by the Regional Council. The Search committee was formed and started to review resumes. The update at this time is that the decision has been made for the board to revisit the vision for this new position and the job description will be relooked at as well if needed.
As an M & P committee, our main focus continues to be caring for our staff. Our committee works on behalf of the congregation as the consultative and supportive role with the staff. We support fostering and maintaining healthy relationships within our staff and congregation.
From an M & P standpoint, 2021 was not a busy year as there were no new staffing changes or contracts to review. It is a blessing with a stable amazing staff.
Wendy Stirbet continues to support all of us as our Office Administrator. We want to thank Wendy for her ability to be the first contact for emails/telephone calls/questions and either answer them or direct them onto the most appropriate person. We also want to thank Wendy for her flexibility to continue to manage the office from the church building or from her home depending on the changes with Covid protocols.
Dave Small has also continued as our Director of Music Ministries. We have all been blessed by Dave’s ability to lead us in worship. Dave’s leadership with his gift of music is such a blessing! He invites us all to encounter the Holy Spirit in our worship. His joy when worshipping is contagious! Thank you, Dave, for your leadership, your teachings and sharing your gifts.
Kelly Beitz has blessed us with her continuation as our Director of Family & Children Ministries and our Director of Outreach. Through the pandemic, Kelly has had to face many challenges (as we all have) with finding new and inventive ways to continue to reach our children and families. Kelly has been so creative and continues to provide many opportunities for our children to learn, experience and encounter who God, Jesus & the Holy Spirit is. Kelly has also managed to continue outreach opportunities during the unusual circumstances with the pandemic, notably DTK(Downtown Kitchener). Kelly, thank you for your perseverance, creativity, and faithfulness!
Rhonda Elgersma continues in her role of Director of Youth Ministries. Rhonda has also had to be creative in ways for our youth to engage with one another due to the pandemic. She continues to facilitate spiritual growth in our youth and helping them step into mentorship & leadership roles. As the Director of Ministry, Rhonda has truly blessed us with her administrative gifts. Rhonda has been very busy keeping Calvary up to date and safe with the ever-evolving health guidelines & protocols throughout the pandemic. Rhonda’s organizational skills keep our Sunday morning services running smoothly and everyone knowing their role. Thank you, Rhonda, for everything you do with grace and faithfulness!
Lastly what can we say about our faithful, fearless leader Drew Maxwell. We are such a blessed community with his leadership as lead pastor. Drew leads by example and encourages all of us to grow in our relationship with God, to step into what God is calling us to, and to encounter the Holy Spirit. This year Drew took a sabbatical leave. It had been 10 years since his last one. We are happy that Drew was able to take this sabbatical time to rest, relax and be restored! It is exciting that as a church we were able to support this. During Drew’s sabbatical, all the staff, Rhonda, Kelly & Dave stepped up and lead us so well. We also had Rev. Orville James join us with his wonderful leading, teaching and pastoring expertise. Calvary was also blessed with many voices from within our congregation and a few from outside. It was a reminder of how blessed we are at Calvary with our members and as many have said “how deep our bench is”. This deep bench is because of Drew’s leadership and encouragement. Thank you Drew for your gentle, faithful leading. Thank you for mentoring us with your worship, teaching, preaching, prayers and encounters. Thank you Drew for being the foundation for this great team of staff and our awesome church family at Calvary!
Sadly, Dave Proulx has decided to step away from the M & P committee. We want to thank him for his commitment and work with our committee. You will be missed. We also want to thank our church family for continuing to support our staff and our committee as we work with and care for our staff.
Members: Angie Tuffnail, Mary Jane Schenkel, Steve VanBruwaene, Esanju Bonga & Dave Proulx
Submitted by Angie Tuffnail
Chairperson, Ministry and Personnel Committee
Coordinators & Nominations for 2022
We are grateful for the many names and volunteers who have served our church family in so many ways. Many have been celebrated in the previous reports and there are many more! Even while some of our teams weren’t able to function in the same capacity this year, we thank all our teams and volunteers.
We honour the work of the various leaders in all aspects of our church family. Here’s a look at some of the committee teams & coordinators for the coming season. Use this as a helpful list to reach out to the appropriate point persons and lift them up in prayer! If one of these areas jumps out to you, please contact a church staff member.
Janine Armstrong, Lorie Silverthorne, Terry Smith, Debbie Martin, Jane Herlick, Jean Healey-Martin, Bill Dunbar, Cathy Linseman, Amanda Wood Atkinson and Drew Maxwell.
Ministry & Personnel
*Angie Tuffnail, Mary Jane Schenkel, Steve Van Bruwaene, Esanju Bonga
Treasurer: Terry Smith
Committee: *Terry Smith, Wendy Stirbet, Wendy Krieck
Coordinators: Cathy Linseman, Mary Jane Schenkel, Drew Maxwell
Meals Ministry: Shannon Robinson, (Amy McDougall)
Prayer Team Co-ordinator: Lorie Silverthorne
Prayer Chain Co-ordinator: Sharon McKay
Sozo Co-ordinator: Rhonda Elgersma (temporary)
Team: *Dale Schieck, Gary Melitzer, Dan Rose
Garden Care: Bill Dunbar
Mark Beitz, Paul Herlick, Drew Maxwell, Murray Martin, Geoff Williams
Sharon McKay, Gary Melitzer, Dave McKay
Special Events Committee
*Dorothy McMillan, Bruce & Donna Dammeier, Bev & Barb Bowman, Donna Taylor, Ray Clement
*Donna McHardy, Ian McHardy, Kate & Grace McHardy
Director: Dave Small
Planning team: Dave Small, Kelly Beitz, Cathy Linseman, Jane Herlick, Ian McHardy, Amy McDougall, Drew Maxwell, Amy Gayman, Rhonda Elgersma
Media/Tech Ministry Coordinator: Steve Morris
Children & Families Ministry
Director: Kelly Beitz
Nursery Coordinator: pending
Director - Rhonda Elgersma
Director: Kelly Beitz
Refugee Settlement: Lorie Silverthorne
DTK: Katinka Gielen
Ray of Hope: Cathy Linesman